Pompano Beach, FL – Shawna Kroll will be honored as the June 2013 Caretaker of the Month by the members of the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association Saturday in the winner’s circle at Pompano Park before the first race on the program.
She is being awarded for the excellent job she did in June as the groom of the three-year-old trotter, Goucher, who won three of his four starts that month and took a lifetime mark of 1:58.1.
“We bought him at the yearling sale for just $400,” Joe Kroll explained, “He was the very last yearling in the sale and looked like a hairy basketball with four legs. But he was bred to trot so we took a chance on him and Shawna worked her magic and he made the races. He was not much to talk about last year with one win but he did make $17,000 and this year he has come into his own.”
Born and raised on a Quarter Horse farm in Circleville, Ohio, just down the road from Scioto Downs, Shawna Kroll grew up around horses and got her first job grooming Standardbreds for trainer/driver Mike Zeller at Scioto.
“I’ve always loved horses of any type,” Shawna said, “And then while grooming at the Meadows I met Joe Kroll and we got married and have been happily together for 35 years!”
Joe Kroll eventually moved to Lake Worth, Florida with his bride and they have been training and racing at Pompano Park for years.
“What makes Shawna so special as a groom,” explained Joe, “is that she reads everything she can about horses and their care. She is a very smart horsewoman, devoted and loves the horses. She learned about giving them cold baths in the hot summer to cool their core temperature, she has trained Standardbreds for riding so they use all their muscles, anything she learns about that can help our horses she will try it and that makes her extra special when it comes to grooming our horses.
“She also worked for seven years with dressage horses here and learned so much.” Joe said, “We had a young trotter named Malvern who was very fast but made breaks all the time. Shawna broke him to saddle and rode him and sure enough over time he learned to control his leg movements and she changed his attitude so when we hooked him up to a bike again he would stay trotting and made a good racehorse.”
“I love to work with the young horses,” Shawna said. “To help teach and school them and watch them learn how to be racehorses and grow and develop over the years is very special to me. And then when they make the races and win, well that’s icing on the cake!”
Shawna Kroll’s presentation and interview Saturday takes place at 6:45 pm where she will be presented with a plaque and a check for $100 from the members of the Florida Chapter of USHWA.
With Pompano Park closing for the summer next month the next Caretaker of the Month award for July 2013 will be presented when the track re-opens in the fall.
By Steve Wolf